Ramping up the violence…..
British student, 19, chased by Turkish police and sprayed with tear gas as she filmed anti-government demonstrations
- Melisa Kenber said she was chased to her car by riot police
- Was visiting family in Istanbul when she got caught up in fierce protests
- Said her eyes were red from noxious gas and eyes left streaming
- Tens of thousands of Turks protested for four days against government
By BECKY EVANS
PUBLISHED: 10:36 GMT, 5 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:18 GMT, 5 June 2013
British student Melisa Kenber said she was sprayed with tear gas as she tried to film the demonstrations
A British student was chased by Turkish riot police wielding tear gas after she began to film anti-government protests.
Melisa Kenber, 19, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, had been visiting family in Istanbul when she became caught up in the riots.
As she started to video the police they yelled, ‘No pictures, no pictures,’ and ran after her until she reached her car, her eyes streaming from the gas.
The former head-girl, who was by herself in the square, said she was left in agony with red, raw eyes after being chased by riot police back to her car.
She arrived in the country amid some of the biggest protests in Turkey for years.
Tens of thousands of Turks have joined anti-government protests over the past four days expressing discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 10-year rule.
The demonstrations were sparked by the heavy-handed police response to a protest in Taksim Square on Friday against a new development.
It has since spread across the country as secular Turks voice their anger against perceived authoritarian policies, including the promotion of headscarves for women and tightening of alcohol laws.
Miss Kenber said she could sense the tensions as soon as she arrived in the country, where she stayed with her grandmother.
She said: ‘I go to Istanbul every year but this time I went, before it all kicked off, I had never hear people so frustrated and angry and complain about the government.
‘It was like a bomb waiting to go off. The final straw was at Taksim Square.